Thrifty | Buying the basics
Christmas is over
Yes, Christmas is over and many people are counting the cost and it’s time to go back to basics. No luxuries in January for many people because money is short! So we have to shop around a little and stop buying luxuries and spend less where ever we can; even on food. I went to Lidl in search of bargains on Sunday. I can eat chicken and chips for every meal and so the chicken drumsticks at £1.99 a kilo were a good bargain. The ones from Asda have a lot more meat on them but are £3.50 a kilo even if you buy two packs for £7.00. I get a little annoyed at having to buy two packs of everything in Asda to get a reasonable price. Things that I can freeze aren’t so bad, but fruit tends to go off.
I also stocked up on a few things in Lidl like the herbs d’Provence and I’ll make some chicken stew later in the week. I did buy some microwavable rice for 79p which seems expensive; although it is easy to cook. Last time I opened the packet and stir fried half of it and then the next day did the rest in the microwave and had rice with salad. So the rice with each meal costs about 40p compared to 22p for oven chips and even less if I have potatoes. There are some bargains in Asda this week on vegetables and I got a large bag of potatoes for about £1. Broccoli was reduced too. I am still eating leftovers from Christmas, I still have lettuce, tomatoes and a little cucumber and there is still half a bag of prawns in the freezer! Yummy!
The big saving that you might not be noticing is on energy costs, the weather appears set to go colder but after the awful winter we had last year, this year seems really mild here in central England.
So we have to get back to really basic foods and save money this month. Watch out for lentils like split peas when you’re shopping, they can be a reasonable price and will add protein to soups and stews. Many Asian shops sell those at a good price and the local ones near me sell large bags of rice and other things like onions. I saw onions for as little as 10p a kilo. I must learn to cook rice and then I can buy a big bag. I find boil in the bag rice much easier but I do too much and the microwave rice is easy and I get just the right amount. Do you have any rice cooking tips? I think I have to wash it first or something? Please comment with rice cooking tips!
I cooked bacon, egg and tomatoes this week. I find the bacon dries up a little and so I fried it a little and then poured tomato juice over it and added tinned tomatoes. It carried on cooking in tomato juice and was nice and moist. I had oven chips with it, of course! Yummy!
My big money saver this month after the excesses of Christmas is; no alcohol. A parliamentary committee has recommended that we give up alcohol for at least two days a week. I’ve given it up and it’s 11 days since my last drink. The cost of a couple of drinks each evening soon mounts up. I know people who spend at least £100 a month on alcoholic drinks. If you save £100 a month for 5 years, at the end you will have £6,000. If you invest it in Zopa at 5% interest that will add another £1,000. What could you do with £7,000? Fancy a Mediterranean cruise?
I read an article last Thursday about a company that has patent pertaining to smart phones software. I thought they might be a good investment and decided to watch their share price. I wasn’t the only person to read that article; the share price tripled on Friday morning and although it dropped back a little in the afternoon was still 150% up. The author of the article commented again on Monday and that sent the price up another 50% on Tuesday. I’m having to write this blog in advance and schedule it for publication but at the time of writing those shares are still going up. If you have money, you can take advantage of opportunities. The opportunity might not be to invest on the stock market, it might just be cut price chicken to stock up your freezer; but every little helps…
I’ll do my Frugal blog tomorrow! You can read more amazing blogs on my Home Page. How about improving your personal brand to help you get a better job, promotion or a pay rise? Don’t forget that you can comment and please do share with your friends on Facebook, LinkedIn or your favourite social network. I need more readers! Have a thrifty weekend!